- By Corey Brown - By Corey Brown

Severed the book

© 2019 Corey Brown

Worried About Nothing

I pulled off mHung over, Support Call, Consultanty telephone headset and tossed it. All morning, there was one whiney complainer followed by the next. Stuff like, ‘My computer is off.’ Or ‘Why is the printer down? It wasn’t down before it quit working.’ And, ‘I can’t find my inner child.’

Such drivel. The support calls were killing me, I had to escape the insanity. I pushed back from my desk and stood. My partner, Nacho Flaherty, looked at me, his expression a visual question mark.


Speaking of questions, in case you’re asking, my name is Spinner. Rick Spinner. I carry an ID badge. I’m a consultant, a PC tech and darn fine liar when I have to be. It’s the unspoken credo of my profession: Fix it when you can, lie your way to safety when you can’t. Sometimes I think the public is on to us, but then I spin a wild tale of Cluster-linked RAM failure or Sanitary Packet Download and rediscover how my mumbo-jumbo still holds truth in the minds of the unsuspecting. God bless techno-babble.



“I’m going for coffee,” I said to my partner, Nacho Flaherty. “Want some?”

“Big baby.” Nacho said. His tone was cool, even peevish.

“What did you say?”

Nacho dropped the metric-ton knobby thing he’d been trying to weld to an Arcnet modem and said, “Come on Rick, you’ve taken one call all morning and you think you need a break? One call and it was a wrong number, how hard is that?”

I narrowed my eyes. The rookie’s insolence stuck me as derisive. “Yeah, okay. Like you’ve been working any harder?”

Nacho narrowed his eyes. “You ever try welding a metric-ton knobby thing to an Arcnet modem?”


Hmmm… he had me there, couldn’t say that I’d ever welded a metric-ton anything to an Arcnet modem. More importantly, what the heck was an Arcnet modem?


I narrowed my eyes even more. I couldn’t tell whose eyes were narrower, by now mine were completely closed. I kind of liked this eyes shut approach; it seemed to lend itself to napping.

“I’m pulling rank,” I said. “You want a cup of coffee or not?”

Nacho shrugged. “Extra sugar,” he said. “Maybe a pack of Skittles.”

Good old Nacho. Always in the game, always the extra sugar. I smiled, pointed at him and said, “You got it, scrappy. Back in a few.”


I started toward the coffee pot and considered my options. Truth be told, I was disappointed. I’d hoped Nacho would decline the cup of holy water, which in turn, would allow me to tank up and just wander for awhile. So what if I’d taken only one support call all morning? Who’d want to take that many?

As I was considering how to avoid work, I failed to avoid a person. We collided roughly, a shoulder and knee sort of thing. Being a beefy fellow, the other guy maintained his footing---you know, Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down. Me? I was knocked on my keister.


The big man looked down at me then stuck out a big hand and said, “I am terribly sorry. Are you all right?”

His German accent made me wonder about his nationality, Greenland maybe? But this was not just any beefy fellow, he was the beefy fellow. The top dog, the chief cook and bottle washer; the CEO of this Large Corporation.


“All my fault,” the CEO said. “I was so preoccupied I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

I was a bit preoccupied myself but decided not to say anything. I didn’t think worrying about how get Nacho his coffee without going back to my desk qualified as true preoccupation.

“No worries mate,” I said, trying to sound Australian thinking, perhaps, the sizable German was from down under. I liked this guy. He was the CEO of the Large Corporation and I had run into him like a teenager escaping the father of his prom date, but the big man was cool about it. “I’m fine,” I said. “Are you all right?”


Hoisting me to me feet, the CEO caught sight of my ID badge and his expression changed, growing both relieved and serious. He said, “You’re a consultant, huh? Do you have a minute? You may be just the man I need to speak with.”

Now I looked serious or something close to it. “Uh, well, I was just making my rounds, Sir. You know, keeping the peace and all.”

He clapped me on the shoulder and propelled me in the direction of his office and said, “I can just imagine how busy you are, what with having to change out the VCR tapes for the executives and that little sausage enterprise you have down on three.” He looked at me and gave a wry smile. “Goat sausage, isn’t it?”


I gulped. It was bad enough he knew that we’d swapped out all of the executive’s PCs with VCRs so those guys would quit reformatting the Internet---it’s a long story, but the exec’s never caught on to the fact they were watching video tapes of spreadsheets, pie charts and the like. All we had to do was change out the tapes once in a while.

That was bad enough, but knowing about the goat sausage operation? This was a disaster. The goat sausage story is a bit more complex so I won’t waste your time telling it, other than to say there are nomads involved. Wandering nomads and floods and an elevator that, for some reason, didn’t stop on the third floor of this building---oh and a couple of PC techs who let those nomads move onto the third floor. Like I said, it’s complicated, but trust me, the CEO knowing about an illicit sausage production business being run out his corporate high rise, well that spelled real trouble.


To be continued…